In early 2020, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey (collectively referred to as the “Parties”) signed a Trilateral Asset Agreement to enable a transparent and efficient repatriation of $311 million (N117billion) for the benefit of the people of Nigeria.
The Asset Agreement required, among other things, that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the “Government”) engage a Monitoring CSO to provide ongoing monitoring of the implementation of the Projects. In fulfilment of this requirement, the Federal Ministry of Justice acting on behalf of the Government retained CLEEN Foundation through an Engagement Contract dated February 10, 2021. Under the terms of the Engagement Contract, CLEEN Foundation will provide effective monitoring of the implementation of the tripartite agreement on the sharing, transfer, disposition, repatriation, and management of the forfeited assets. The funds worth $ 311.8 million (Three hundred and eleven million dollars) are for the benefit of Nigerians for infrastructural development namely: Abuja-Kano Road, Second River Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The scope of work is inclusive and not limited to compliance about anti-corruption, anti-human trafficking, procurement practices, forensic auditing, engineering and infrastructure. CLEEN is also obligated to file periodic reports summarizing its preliminary findings from its monitoring activities.
Since CLEEN’s engagement, the foundation has embarked on a series of on-the-spot checks and unscheduled visits to these locations. Several community members domiciled in localities close to the project locations where constructions are ongoing were trained on the approach to carry out the monitoring functions. They were deployed to undertake unscheduled visits to the construction locations. CLEEN and its partners have embarked on several quarterly site visits to the three project locations since the commencement of this project in 2021.
During this project, the foundation has taken some vital steps to provide visibility across the 3 project sites and provide Nigerians with information on the credible work that is happening across the project sites.
On the 12th of November 2021, the consortium held a press briefing on the progress of work done around the 3 project sites. Currently, there’s a dedicated website assetmonitoring.org.ng. This website is populated with all the necessary information about the project and is accessible to all. Four (4) jingles have been produced in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and pidgin, which have been circulated on different social media platforms and aired across radio stations in all the South East and South West states and across seven (7) states in the North.
On the 29th of September 2022, CLEEN held a joint press briefing with the Federal Ministry of Justice (MOJ) where it officially launched the asset recovery website.
The foundation has also produced a documentary that captures the entire process of this work from inception till date and held a CSO/CBOs Roundtable Dialogue that shared in detail the work CLEEN has done so far in monitoring the utilization of the recovered assets and provided an opportunity for groups to ask questions and further make recommendations in enhancing the work.
These projects are currently in their final stage of completion; the 2nd Niger Bridge was commissioned in May 2023 by the former President Muhammadu Buhari, the section I & II of Abuja-Kano Road was also commissioned. Lastly, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway way, which is in the final stages of completion.